Vice Admiral Cheema new western naval command chief

Vice Admiral Surinder Pal Singh Cheema took over the reins of the Western Naval Command as flag officer commanding-in-chief from Vice Admiral Anil Chopra at a ceremonial parade held at INS Shikra here on Tuesday.

Mumbai: Vice Admiral Surinder Pal Singh Cheema took over the reins of the Western Naval Command as flag officer commanding-in-chief from Vice Admiral Anil Chopra at a ceremonial parade held at INS Shikra here on Tuesday.

Cheema, while serving in Mumbai earlier, had commanded INS Nishank, INS Trishul and INS Virat, a Naval release said, adding Chopra was accorded a send off.

Cheema is a seasoned campaigner and has the unique distinction of shouldering responsibilities as C-in-C (commanding-in-chief) for the fourth time.

His first appointment as a C-in-C was as the head of the Tri Services HQs at Delhi as CISC, Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee, it said.

Cheema had earned 'Mention in Despatches' for his duty during operations in Sri-Lanka in 1989 and was awarded the Nau Sena Medal (Gallantry) while commanding the Indian Naval Ship 'Nishank'.

A spate of accidents had hit the Western Naval Command including an explosion onboard submarine 'INS Sindhurakshak' in 2013 resulting into the death of 18 Navy personnel.

In another incident, two personnel were killed in fire on board of 'INS Sindhuratna last year, which led to the resignation of then Navy chief Admiral D K Joshi.

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